State delivers $2.3bn surplus

02/10/2007 - 22:00

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The state government has posted another record surplus, eclipsing its previous record figure by almost 2 per cent to reach $2.3 billion for the 2006-07 financial year.

State delivers $2.3bn surplus

The state government has posted another record surplus, eclipsing its previous record figure by almost 2 per cent to reach $2.3 billion for the 2006-07 financial year.

Releasing the government’s annual report on state finances last week, Treasurer Eric Ripper said the report presented Western Australia’s strongest ever balance sheet, bulletproofing the state’s finances and protecting against any future economic shocks.

The final surplus figure was almost double the initial budget estimate.

General government revenue totalled $17.45 billion, up 7.7 per cent on the previous financial year, but less than the 14 per cent growth recorded the year before.

Mr Ripper said he believed revenue growth had peaked, with the state unlikely to maintain the extremely high levels of revenue growth witnessed in previous years.

Taxation revenue rose 10 per cent on the previous year to $5.7 billion.

Mining revenues were down $79 million, or 3.5 per cent, on budget estimates.

This result reflected the net impact of  lower iron ore volumes due to the effect of cyclones, lower volumes of liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas due to unplanned shut-downs, and a higher than forecast $A/$US exchange rate.

Net debt reached its lowest level on record, standing at $2.98 billion at June 30.

Mr Ripper said the government was able to reduce its debt levels while delivering a record $5.1 billion, or more than $2,000 per person, capital works program.

Coinciding with the release of the state finance figures was the unveiling of a new $238 million housing affordability package targeting low income, public housing, crisis accommodation and land supply in regional areas.

The package will include 124 extra public houses, up to 300 new crisis accommodation units and providing accommodation assistance for mental health clients.

The government is also allocating $60 million for land acquisitions in the Perth’s eastern and southern suburbs to deliver about 1,850 new residential lots to the market.

“The most significant issue confronting Western Australians now is affordable access to accommodation,” Premier Alan Carpenter said.

“It would be unthinkable for us not to address those issues.”

Local governments will benefit from a $3 million funding scheme to assist with planning and fast-track approvals.

The government will also put just more than $90 million into developing housing for government officers in regional areas, including Port Hedland.

The $238 million funding package is in addition to housing affordability measures announced in the last budget.

These measures include cuts to stamp duty and the abolition of letting fees on new leases, the establishment of the $300 million First Start Scheme shared equity program, and more than $370 million in funding to increase public housing numbers by 1,000 extra properties.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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